The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to close the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Tuesday, September 13 if the Nigerian government fails to address the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other staff unions’ lingering strike action.
Since February 14, the ASUU has been on strike over a number of unsolved issues, one of which being the union’s insistence on using the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment method instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) (IPPIS).
Students around the nation have frequently taken to the streets to protest the extended strike action as Public Universities have been closed for months.
In a statement signed by the students’ movement Vice President, External Affairs, Akinteye Babatunde; Public Relations Officer, Giwa Yisa Temitope; Zone D Coordinator, Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji and all South West Joint Campus Committee Chairman led by Omotosho Surprise of the Ondo axis on Monday, NANS revealed its new strategies for getting the government’s attention, saying that it is prepared to shut down the nation’s economy on Tuesday by blocking the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
A vote of no confidence was also passed by NANS regarding the ability of Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labor and Employment, and Adamu Adamu, his counterpart in the Ministry of Education, to continue to lead the government’s negotiation team in an effort to settle the unresolved issues with the lecturers.
The statement read, “For over 6 months, the Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike thereby paralysing academic activities on campus. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has been inconsiderate to the feelings of Nigerian Students which shows that the academic pursuit of students is of no relevance to this administration.
“It beats logic that government sets up new universities but downplays the welfare of the teachers resulting in a shutdown of universities stretching into over 6 months with no end in sight. A fortnight ago, a university lecturer committed suicide all because of the failure of the government to prioritise his well-being leaving behind 3 kids. The question is, what would be the fate of the kids he left behind?
“Since the inception of this administration, we have seen how meagre sum is allocated to the educational sector. We have seen how the Minister of Labour and his Education counterpart have been locking horns with members of ASUU over this prolonged strike with no meaningful end in sight. In all these, the Senate Committee on Tertiary education is lost.
“It is based on the foregoing that we declare a protest against the prolonged ASUU strike which has ultimately affected the progress of Nigerian students for the past 6 months. And, we also pass a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige and Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
“NB: The protest shall be held simultaneously till the strike action is resolved. Convergence point: Lagos – Ibadan expressway (Sagamu Interchange). Time: 0700hrs.”